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RE: Re[2]: CfC: Approve draft charter for AC review

From: <alands289@gmail.com>
Date: Wed, 12 Oct 2016 09:19:01 -0400
Message-ID: <57fe3849.86b1810a.8c622.b901@mx.google.com>
To: Katie Haritos-Shea <ryladog@gmail.com>, Joshue O Connor <josh@interaccess.ie>
Cc: WCAG <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>, Léonie Watson <tink@tink.uk>
I’m challenged by much of this thread with what is best for those with disabilities and what governments will do.

Whatever happened to WCAG 2.0 AAA SCs?
	Currently we have 20 some approved SCs - on the books so to speak - that are known as AAA that are of benefit 	to those with disabilities.

	How many websites even consider these? Very few. We don’t hear any word from government agencies stating 	that these are required. Or plans to update their regulatory documentation to require them.

What is best for the disabled is not what is always implemented
	While we can have numerous best practices and better designs – AAA for example – very few websites even 	consider these AAA items or other design considerations that are best for those with disabilities.

	While they would benefit those with disabilities, unless there is some legal force behind them, they may never 	get implemented.

	I audit 100’s of public sites and it is enough to get them to do A and AA. None go beyond them to add other 	design considerations that would benefit disabled users.

Governments can always state they require “the latest version of WCAG xxxxx”
	Since all we had was WCAG 2.0, it is understandable that governments referenced that for their legislative and 	regulatory requirements. Some have only referenced WCAG 1.0.

	If it is communicated to the public that WCAG will be updated on some new cycle (1-10 years or whatever is 	decided) they can now update their wording – at whatever revision cycle it would take for them to do so – to  	state that the guidelines they require are the latest WCAG approved/normalized version 


Sent from Mail for Windows 10

From: Katie Haritos-Shea
Sent: Wednesday, October 12, 2016 8:51 AM
To: Joshue O Connor
Cc: WCAG; Léonie Watson
Subject: Re: Re[2]: CfC: Approve draft charter for AC review

I could live with what I suggested - gathering the opinion of others who will implement this new WCAG in gov,  *right now* (next week) as this is extremely important.
I would like to see a broader set of these people approached with non-biased language questions, approved by this WG.
Katie Haritos-Shea

On Oct 12, 2016 3:38 PM, "josh@interaccess.ie" <josh@interaccess.ie> wrote:
Hi Katie,

<chair hat off>
I agree with many of the points that Leonie and Alastair have raised/articulated.
</chair hat off>

In order to try to reach consensus - or at least be clearer on what we don't agree on. 
I'd like to ask you similar questions to David.

1) Could you live with us signaling a more regular update cycle or some form? Where we  signal intent to have a three year cycle, but not necessarily committing to it. 
We can of course review our status at those times,  and release new SCs etc if we feel it is appropriate at that time.

2) If this is the case and the work is substantial and taking real shape then the efforts/energy of the group will go fully behind Silver. Otherwise maintaining a more regular dot.x release cycle is a practical alternative to allow us to keep WCAG a vibrant relevant standard.
Can you live with this?



------ Original Message ------
From: "Katie Haritos-Shea" <ryladog@gmail.com>
To: "Léonie Watson" <tink@tink.uk>
Cc: "WCAG" <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>
Sent: 12/10/2016 13:26:45
Subject: Re: CfC: Approve draft charter for AC review

Thanks for your perspective and opinion.
No where have I stated that 2.1 should be released 5 years from now, nor that an updated suggested target for a follow-on be more than 5 years.
I never suggested the group wait until other stakeholders can join the WG to update the charter. I suggested gathering the opinion of others who will implement this new WCAG in gov,  *right now* (next week) as this is extremely important.
I would like to see a broader set of these people approached with non-biased language questions, approved by this WG. 
The more information we have, the better.
How much this would delay the charter and this work is negligible compared to the expected life and breadth of this standard.
This is extremely important.
Katie Haritos-Shea

On Oct 12, 2016 1:44 PM, "Léonie Watson" <tink@tink.uk> wrote:
On 12/10/2016 03:53, Katie Haritos-Shea wrote:
That worries me. I think we need more discussion on this issue with
users, advocacy groups, and government stakeholders - all of whom are
currently lacking in force in our WG.

Much as it would be good to have participation from more organisations in those groups, the WG cannot postpone making decisions against a time when that might happen.

The assertion that governments should 'keep up with us' (is not only
arrogant, but), shows a clear lack in understanding the complexities of
building integrity and solid vetting into specifications prior to uptake
by governments.

Which governments are you referring to?

It is worth noting that legislators are not our only audience, and that not all legislators are as incapable of moving with the times as others.

In the UK our disability legislation is not tied to WCAG, it simply requires that services are accessible to people with disabilities. WCAG is usually the benchmark of choice of course, but regular revisions that improve accessibility for different groups will actually make it easier for UK service providers to meet their legal obligations.

Laws have the ability to change discriminatory behavior via enforcement.
Had it not been for such laws, women wouldn't be able to vote, and
segregation would still be in force.

Yes they do, and I don't think anyone has argued otherwise. Legislators are not our only audience, and arguably not even our primary audience however.

We have a responsibility to people with disabilities. We have multiple TFs working on multiple SCs, some of which will reach maturity sooner than others. Postponing the release of mature SCs in order to wait for other SCs to catch up, does a disservice to the people most likely to benefit from those mature Scs.

We also have a responsibility to content authors. If we have mature SCs that have attained WG consensus, we should not withhold them from being released for use in the wild - where they will start to have a positive impact.

WCAG has provided a gold standard tool for all to point to. Updates
should maintain that rigorous testability and vetting process to
maintain the integrity of the Accessibility specs from the W3C.

The two things are not mutually exclusive. a regular release cycle does not mean a drop in quality, and can in fact improve quality in certain circumstances.

Every SC will need to attain WG consensus, having been put through its paces as always. If an SC doesn't make the grade for one release, it can simply be deferred to the next release - and with a relatively short time between releases, there is less concern of an SC not making it into a release at all.

We then avoid the situation where an SC is crammed in before it has reached maturity, because we remove the fear that if an SC isn't included now it could be umpteen years before the next release.

The majority of organizations will not implement accessibity
requirements unless forced to by regulations.

This may be the case in the US. Since (as noted above) not all legislation is tied to WCAG, it feels like a strawman argument in this context.
Isn't the end goal of WCAG to assist developers and governments to help
users with disabilities have a fair shot? I really do not understand
this stance to not *help* governments acheive this goal to the best of
our ability.

It isn't clear why a regular release cycle would prevent governments from doing this?

It seems to me that governments that reference WCAG can either continue to point to 2.0, adopt each 2.x version as it is released, or switch to any subsequent version as/when they choose to do so. In each case the status quo of accessibility will either be maintained or advanced.

For authors it will help them support disabled people better if they have access to the best set of mature SCs as/when they become available - or at least without having to wait a decade between releases.

AC Reps and W3M should not be whom we are trying to please as much as
our number one stakeholder, the user. This specification will mean
nothing if it looses intergity and usefullness to them, by not being
adopted - because it was treated like an agile web language - instead of
the life-altering accessibility standard that supports human rights.

Given that more than one AC rep has a disability, that many more than one AC rep represents an accessibility agency, advocacy group, government or other organisation with a vested interest in accessibility, trying to create a "them and us" split doesn't seem helpful.

No-one is suggesting we adopt Agile. Agile is a software development methodology, not a methodology for creating standards.

The suggestion is that we maintain the same level of rigour and quality, but instead of waiting five years for 30 new Scs to reach maturity, we release smaller batches at more frequent intervals.

No-one would be forced to use the latest 2.x version, but equally no-one would be forced to wait too long before being able to use new and mature SCs that will benefit people with disabilities.


@LeonieWatson tink.uk Carpe diem
Received on Wednesday, 12 October 2016 13:19:35 UTC

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